Roller coaster weather causing spike in allergy issues

The wildly different temperatures in the last week have caused a spike in allergy cases for local clinics. (Photo: CBS Austin)

Winter days in the 80s mixed with lows in the 50s. This winter weather roller coaster is causing an early spike in allergy cases for Austin-area hospitals, well before the peak.

"I love to be outside in Austin so I suffer through it," said Sunny Reed.

Reed loves all Austin has to offer but there's a stuffy nose, scratchy throat, water eyes price tag.

"If the wind changes, then you know you're going to have an allergy attack," said Reed.

Dr. Jack Morper at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Lakeway says the mild winter means a longer allergy season.

"We're seeing mold and pollen counts really go up so unfortunately the sufferers are really being miserable," said Dr. Morper.

Four weather triggers include: dry, windy days that blow pollen into the air; rainy or humid days that uptick mold; cold air that can trigger coughing for those with allergic asthma and heat that can expose the allergic to ozone and smog.

"Normally I get a break after the fall but since it never really got cold I feel like I haven't really gotten a break. It really intensified the last 7 or 8 days ago to where I feel like normally in mid-April," said Reed.

Dr. Morper has seen more patients earlier too. He says avoidance is key. Wash your hair and clothes of pollen and shut your windows. He also recommends using a neti pot.

"When that doesn't help you may consider medications," said Dr. Morper.

He says there are solutions so you don't have to suffer.

"I haven't had very many patients tell me I'm leaving Austin because of my allergies," said Dr. Morper.

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